In case you missed it this past weekend, the New York Times Sunday Business section ran a long article about Google’s ongoing tweaking. While it is certainly the most revealing look at the inner workings of Google that we’ve seen so far, I think it’s important to point out that this is not groundbreaking news. It’s just that more people are talking about it, especially now that Google has stepped out from behind the curtain (well…has stuck one toe of one foot out from behind the curtain, at least).
We’ve been in the SEO business for over 6 years and have been tracking Google’s (and the other search engines’) algorithm changes since day one. One of the most critical aspects of a quality SEO firm is its ability to keep up with the changes and adjust its approaches and methodologies accordingly to continually deliver performance. Anyone who tells you that Google’s changes are alarming, or are a death knell for SEO are either brand new to the business, don’t understand how it works or haven’t been practicing above-board optimization techniques.
True, the changes that Google is making now are more sophisticated, but the objective of these changes is still the same—to provide the best results for its users as often as possible. In that context, quality, white hat SEO that helps make highly relevant, legitimate sites more visible is a valuable service that helps Google do its job better and deliver an improved searcher experience. Bill’s comment on the Grokdotcom blog said it best: “SEO isn't a bag of tricks or a bunch of shortcuts. It's also not an arms race against a search engine… but rather a collaborative effort to help searchers find what they are looking for, and help them accomplish what they set out to do on the Web.”
From my point of view, Google’s ongoing changes help us rather than hurt us. They continue to reduce the effectiveness of the so-called SEO companies that use tricks and disapproved tactics to gain rankings and traffic for sites, while rewarding those quality sites that work with the system rather than against it. True-blue SEO firms like DBE have been doing this for their clients all along so for us this, like the constant Google tweaking, is nothing new.